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East Coast Energy Internships

Earlier this year, John Best joined the Ogden Trust as a consultant responsible for the East Coast Energy Internship programme. John has considerable experience in the energy sector and founded the membership organisation Energy in the East of England (EEEGR) in 2001. He served as the Chief Executive of EEEGR for 11 years.  

“I moved back into industry in 2012,” explains John. “But it was in helping to support the skills strand of my work with EEEGR that I became a STEM ambassador. More recently I was delighted to be invited to use my networking skills, strategic links and experience in business development to work with The Ogden Trust and key partners to deliver the pilot programme for the East Coast Energy Internship.”

Last week, the first two interns started their placements on this new programme.

Felicity Levett (19) and Joel Pointon (17), both students from Lowestoft Sixth Form College, are working at Galloper’s Offshore Construction Coordination Base in Lowestoft for a four-week period over the summer. They will each complete research and design projects related to the construction of the up to 336MW offshore wind farm. 

The East Coast Energy Internship is a brand new scheme established by The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Ogden Trust and Suffolk County Council in association with Waveney District Council. It is part of a wider scheme called The Lowestoft Engineering Project, which is providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) opportunities to pupils at 12 primary schools, four high schools and two
colleges in the town.

Plugging the gap between work experience and apprenticeships, the internship scheme is fully funded by the Ogden Trust and provides the students with a real and meaningful placement that utilises and enhances their STEM skills in a business environment. 

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said: “This is a great opportunity for Felicity and Joel to get a true understanding of the sector and to make their mark on this vitally important project that will contribute to a secure supply of low carbon energy.

“The east coast is the natural place for a scheme like this to launch. The abundance of offshore wind activity here means great things for our economy and creates world-class training opportunities for our young people. It’s fantastic to see an initiative like this being trailblazed by Galloper in our region and it will hopefully set an example for other similar schemes in the future.”

Toby Edmonds, Galloper Wind Farm Project Director said: “Joel and Felicity are part of a group of five students from Lowestoft Sixth Form College, who are piloting the programme. The internships are being hosted by Galloper Wind Farm Limited and James Fisher and Sons, as well as other key players from the energy sector. It is a fantastic initiative, creating the potential for local young people to gain valuable work experience from across the industry, in this area. 

“I know the Galloper and James Fisher teams are very much looking forward to working with Felicity and Joel, and supporting their passion for science and technology.” 

The Galloper project is expected to create around 700 jobs created during construction and around 90 jobs once the wind farm is operational.

Intern Felicity, who has secured a place at the University of Keele to study Geoscience, says, “I’m really excited to be involved in a project of this scale and importance. I think it will be great to get hands-on experience of working from the Offshore Construction Coordination Base as part of a team but also learning more about how the build of the wind farm is coordinated from my hometown. I’m sure this will confirm my ambitions to work in science or engineering after university too.”